Justice for Gbolade

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In the early hours of the morning on Friday 9th August 2019, late Mr. Gbolade Ejemai, a 30 year old Nigerian citizen, told his wife Victoria Luganska, a Ukrainian national, that he wanted to ‘quickly’ visit a certain Victoria Popvrako in her house at Traktorostroitelei, in Kharkov, Ukraine’s second largest city.
Gbolade, a final year medical student of Kharkov International Medical University and Ms. Popvrako, a 36 year old Ukrainian citizen, were said to be in some undefined relationship which often brought them together.
Gbolade’s wife, who had been on night duty the previous night and was yet to return home, smelt a rat. “Don’t go,” she had said during their phone conversation. “Why don’t you wait for me to return from duty...I will be back by 8 o clock.” But Gbolade assured her that all would be fine, and he would soon be back.
So he went to Ms. Popvrako’s house, as he had decided.
However, at 10:22am, she received a message from him, which read thus; Traktorostroitelei 95, 188 apartment, call police there that there is a conflict.
While she was trying to do that, she received his call at 10:36am, crying behind the receiver that he had been stabbed.
She suspended everything she was doing in an instant, called an ambulance. The response from the ambulance services was ‘already booked’. She jumped out of the house into the street where she hailed a taxi, to the above address. On getting there she met an ambulance already taking Gbolade to an hospital, with the name -City Clinical Hospital for Emergency and Emergency Medicine. It was later discovered that Ms. Popvrako, who stabbed him, also called the ambulance afterwards.
The wife, Victoria Luganska, put a call through to one of Gbolade’s friends, Segun Ashade, who joined her at the hospital. On the way to the hospital Gbolade had lost 40 percent blood, and had to be placed on life support. He was immediately taken to intensive care unit where he was operated upon. He slipped into a coma, and did not come out until Sunday the 11th of August. Later on that day, when he was visited by Luganska and Ashade, he was reported to have been responding only in monosyllables. But by Monday he appeared to be in a more stable condition, and that was the day, he narrated his ordeal at Ms. Popravko’s house to them. Gbolade spoke in Yoruba, while Ashade translated to Luganska in English.
In Ashade’s words, “Gbolade said they had an argument, in the room. (The girl’s father, Mr. Popravko was in the house as well). In the heat of the argument, Mr. Popravko brought a knife, with which the lady stabbed Gbolade in the stomach. He later heard them saying “this is not enough to kill him, get something else!” The father scuttled in and out of the room and returned with a hammer, and struck Gbolade on the head with it.
By the afternoon of Tuesday, August 13th, his condition had suddenly deteriorated. The doctors said there were complications with his digestive system, neither could he talk anymore.
By Wednesday August 14th, after exhaustive deliberations on whether to do a second surgery or not, the three doctors handling his case, finally agreed. A second surgery was done.
Post-surgery, Gbolade slipped into coma again, but this time he didn’t come out. He died on August 14th, 2019.
Ms. Popvrako, who was initially apprehended on August 9th, was granted bail after 24 hours, and is currently walking as a free woman on the streets of Traktorostroitelei.
It is reported that the father, who played a well-rehearsed role in the cold-blooded murder, had stabbed himself in the leg, probably in a bid to turn the story in his favour. He is also walking as a free man.
It is noteworthy that though Ms. Popvrako is aware of Gbolade’s marriage to Victoria Luganska, she frequently stalked, harassed and threatened her on social media with such messages; ‘you are ugly,’
‘you are an idiot,’
‘he is deceiving you,’
‘you think he loves you?’
– an indication that she is jealous and is also sexually interested in Gbolade.
Up to 150 Nigerians living in the diaspora have been murdered across countries like South Africa, UAE, Malaysia and Ukraine, in the last three years, with little or no justice meted out on the perpetrators of the crimes. This is one murder too many, and we hereby call on the diaspora commission to bring the killers of Gbolade Ejemai to book.